Monday, November 2, 2009

A word on TCU's (shockingly strong) attendance

The NCAA publishes attendance stats that (surprise!) flatter the big cartel schools, at the expense of the non-cartel schools. How? By ordering the stats by how well a schools sells out its stadium.

But Division 1 college football is not played in small stadiums-- even if the host school is quite small. The perfect case in point is: TCU, with an enrollment under 9,000 (a stat that invariably surprises fans unfamiliar with the Horned Frogs). So the Wimple offers here a better way to rank attendance figures: by percentage of enrollment. This ordering of attendance stats gives a much better view of those schools that have fan support outside of their boistrous (and bored) student populations.

The Wimple trusts's listing of each school's enrollment, and uses the NCAA's own per-game average attendance. Taking the current BCS top 25, here are the top attendance/enrollment schools in the nation:

1. Notre Dame's average game attendance is 708% of its enrollment.
2. TCU: 392%.
3. Alabama: 319%.
4. Miami: 317%.
5. Oklahoma: 313%.
6. Oregon: 310%.
7. LSU: 295%.
8. Georgia Tech: 295%.
9. Penn State: 261%.
10. USC: 253%.
11. Iowa: 243%.
12. Virgina Tech: 237%.
13. Boone Pickens: 232%.
14. Ohio State: 208%.
15. Texas: 204%.
16. Wisconsin: 193%.
17. Pittsburgh: 187%.
18. Cal enrolls: 184%.
19. Florida: 182%.
20. Boise State: 172%.
21. Utah: 156%.
22. Arizona: 140%.
23. South Florida: 117%.
24. Cincinnati: 90%.
25. Houston: 72%.


Todd E. Jones said...

Nice job! You make a compelling argument Wimple.

Angry Trey said...

Great post!

T. Wimple said...

Thanks, guys.

I've brought this up here and there over the years, but it's never been more timely. TCU has great attendance, considering its size. Out-drawing Cincy and Boise in real terms, as well, has yet to hit the major airwaves.

tcuyoda said...

Did anyone send this to GP?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting!

I wonder if you left University of Tennessee out? Biggest collegiate stadium, always full, small school.

tcumurphish said...

You need to email this to all the papers and tv stations that ignore this valid point while talking shit about our attendance.

T. Wimple said...

Read the post, Anonymous. Yes, I left Tennessee out-- because they're not on this week's BCS top 25.

This is about schools that play good football, not just schools that have an army of bored fans!

Anonymous said...

When people go to the game even though their team is losing, that's called "loyalty." As someone who has been going to TCU games since I moved here in 1987 (and, boy, did you have to be loyal to go to games back then!), I'd say we should be careful about getting cocky! What's happening right now is wonderful and I have my tickets for the Utah game, but in all honesty we have a ways to go before we can claim anything like the fan support in Knoxville (though your stats made me feel a lot better!).

Just three more games to go to finish off the perfect season!

T. Wimple said...

well, what's going on in Knoxville, or wherever NotreLame is, is very different than what's going on in Fort Worth.

That's the whole point of the attendance/enrollment comparison. TCU is a small school in a pro-sports metroblob. The Frogs are making first-time fans (in droves, these days), but have not had a large loyal following since the '60s.

So it makes no sense to compare TCU with college-town big programs without doing so in context. Enrollment is a big piece of that context, and it's been thoroughly neglected in the press. (although this post has gotten a lot of play on internet sites...)